Sunday, April 15


Orhan Oğuz: “The film took 50 years to shoot, and the post-production three months.”

Minus One from the section “Out of Competition” was screened at Beyoğlu Sineması with the participation of the director Orhan Oğuz, and the film crew. Most of the film is set inside a vehicle and the story follows three city police officers trying to find an official institution to turn in a homeless man, all night long. The director said that the homeless man is the only person who deserves to be at the culture center from which he is kicked out, and said that the film is based on a real story even though the screenplay is fiction: “Those four people have a very unfortunate night. When my friend called me in the middle of the night to tell me about what happened, I was awestruck. So here I am after four years.” The director also added: “The film took 50 years to shoot but the post-production three months.”

Kenan Kavut: “Rough violence seems repugnant.”

The Escape from “Human Rights in Cinema Competition” was screened at Atlas Sineması with the participation of the director Kenan Kavut and the film crew. Kavut said: “Our purpose was to be sensitive about this subject; rough violence seems repugnant to me. I thought about how this violence would evolve. This is the problem with those who don’t experience war, actually. Aliye (Jale Arıkan) is a lonely and hurt character. With the character of the man who collects frogs (Ali Suliman), I wanted to portray the trauma of someone who escapes to another place. He was actually a delusion that the character created in his mind; he didn’t actually exist.”

Fragments from the director’s personal history…

Fragments from “National Documentary Competition” within “Turkish Cinema” was screened at Pera Museum Auditorium. After the screening, the director Rojda Akbayır answered the questions from the audience: “I had the idea of making a film about September 12 (the coup d’état in 1980). My father was affected by it so the documentary became the story of my own family. It’s been a tough journey. It was hard to face the family secrets, so I’ve had some really depressing periods. This documentary was a journey toward my father. (…) We were very lucky because our team was really good and everyone believed in this project. I’ve watched a ton of documentary films because I worked at the Documentary Filmmakers Association for 10 years, so that helped. Here we drew heavily on the question of ‘how a nostalgic story can be turned into a universal one?’”

György Kristof: “Everything is connected to each other in the film.”

Out from “Young Masters” was screened at Cinemaximum City’s Nişantaşı with the participation of the director György Kristof. The director commented on the film: “I’m also Hungarian-born like the character in the film. I’ve worked in Slovakia and lived in four or five countries. With this film, I wanted to show what it feels like to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I’ve told my own stories but also the stories of my parents and relatives. I also wanted to show the situation of the Eastern European countries pos-socialism, because all of them have a common psyche. There are many encounters and coincidences throughout the film, and they all have their own micro universes. Everything that happens in the film is connected to each other.”

Motherhood, thriller, horror and musical

Good Manners from “International Competition” was screened at Cinemaximum City’s Nişantaşı with the Portuguese lead actress Isabél Zuaa. “I was difficult to share a scene with a kid,” said Zuaa, explaining that she sometimes had to act across a stick because the child actor wasn’t able to be present at the set all the time: “Every scene had a different feeling; I acted using my instincts. I was an introverted character in the first half of the film, and then, with the instructions of the director, I became a motherly and loving person in the second half.”

On fate and fortune…

Dhogs from “Mined Zone” was screened at Cinemaximum City’s Nişantaşı with the participation of the director Andrés Goteira. The film plays with the concepts of fate and fortune and it is Goteira’s first feature film. Goteira talked about the starting point of the film: “I first wrote three independent stories. When I was thinking about these stories, there appeared the idea of adding the audience passively watching it all. For me, the real heroes of the story are the audience. We all live in a big bubble. If something bad happens right next to us and we’re able to help, we become good people. But sometimes we’re afraid to get out of this bubble. We become passive and silent.” The director also said that the story is actually a game, and that it gave him the freedom to play with the characters, and answered the question about the soundtrack: “When I was creating the framework of the film, I always had this music in mind. I told a friend of mine about the idea, and asked him to make this music. It was on purpose that we did it annoying. I needed to get under your skin and to do that I needed this music.”

Şükrü Alaçam: “It’s a true story.”

Lodging from the section “Out of Competition” within “Turkish Cinema” was screened at Beyoğlu Sineması with the director Şükrü Alaçam and the film crew. Alaçam answered the questions after the screening: “It’s a real life story. We did some adaptations but the character Uğur was my father, and Berrak is my older sister. After my sister died in 1987, I was born in 1988. I’ve always lived being aware of this and felt it during the filmmaking process as well. Lodging created something like this for me: She gave her life to me, and so I gave her this film. The actress Nergis Çorakçı also commented: “When I got the story from Şükrü and read the part ‘ashure and the kid’ I was highly impressed, and I cried a lot. To me, that scene is among the most well-written, most important, most original scenes in world cinema… I was very glad to be part of this script because of that scene.”

A Transformation in Timelessness: The Pillar of Salt

The Pillar of Salt from both “International Competition” and “National Competition” was screened at Atlas Sineması with the participation of the director Burak Çevik and the film crew. “Atlas Sineması is very important to me. I used to say that when a film of mine to be screened at Atlas Sineması, I will be able to call myself a filmmaker. This happened today,” said Çevik, and added that the shooting of the film took one year. He explained that they worked with a limited budget, claiming that a film can be made without a big financial source.

The film tells the story of a woman stuck in time looking for her lost sister after finding out that she’s pregnant. The director explained: “Giving birth brings lots of questions with it. There’s the question of whether or not to bring someone into this chaos. The main character goes through a transformation with the pregnancy.” The film progresses as sequences and the director Çevik explained that it is very much concerned with the question of representation: “We see photographs, ultrasound images and pictures in the film. The pictures separate the sequences. The process of building these made the story a more concrete one.”

The film doesn’t show any males as a formalistic choice, and Çevik talked about the timelessness of the film: “I find 4/3 timeless in terms of format. When you decide to make a film you see there are lots of tools and you want to use them. But the sense of beauty can change in time; instead, I think it’s more important to build a main framework.”

A film full of women from Paraguay

The Heiresses from the section “Where Are You My Love?” was screened at Cinemaximum Zorlu Center with the participation of the director Marcelo Martinessi who is also among the jury of the festival’s International Competition this year. “The film industry in Paraguay is not big,” said director Martinessi, pointing out that they value each film very much and have a hard time finding trained actors, and added: “The film’s success made us all very happy. Most of the actors you see in the film are non-professionals. The lead actress Ana Brun is actually a theater actress but the last time she was on stage was 20 years ago. This is her first role on film. The shooting of the film took 42 days; the producers usually say ‘the faster you finish it, the better’ but we tried to stand up to it. Because most of the actors weren’t professional, we thought it would take time to work with them. These old women you saw have a Paraguayan sense of humor. We found these completely amateur women from the district. It took some time to work with these old women, so that’s why 42 days were barely enough.”


Korhan Futacı: “The best soundtrack music is the music you don’t hear”

Soundtracks were discussed today at the festival talks. Celebrated musician Pivio who has composed many prominent soundtracks to films such as Hamam and Harem Suare and who is also the soundtrack artist of Love and Bullets shown at the Istanbul Film Festival this year, had a lovely talk with composer, songwriter, vocalist, musician Korhan Futacı who also composes soundtracks.

“Composing music is easy, but composing for a film is hard,” said Pivio and pointed out that it’s important not to forget that you’re serving a film when you compose music for it: “You need to work with a lot of people in a film. The purpose is to do the best for the film, not to satisfy your own musical desires. What I care about is to create the right sounds and music for the film.” The musician said that the first soundtrack he composed was for the film Hamam and he was working as an engineer at the time: “We wanted both western and eastern influences for Hamam. The idea of it was heaven and hell. Apart from the orchestral music, we used the bağlama, the kemenche, the darbuka and the daf. After Hamam’s screening at Cannes, I decided I wanted to quit engineering and make music.”

Korhan Futacı whose last composition was for the soundtrack music for Onur Ünlü’s film The Bank of Broken Hearts said: “The main thing is the characters, the places, the feeling that the director wants to convey, the emotions… What does that scene represent in the film? Is it a moment of climax or a pause?” The composer shared that he goes to the set from time to time, watches the shooting and begins to form a one-on-one relationship with the director at the set, and talked about the co-working process at Seren Yüce’s film The Swaying Waterlily: “For that scene, Seren wanted an improvised, avant-garde jazz music. He was thinking a music in contrast with the lives of the characters, and that would cut off their lives with a sharp blow.”

Futacı also talked about his background in painting, and explained that when he is painting, he listens to its music, and that when he is making music, he is seeing its colors. He also added that he is trying to create music that has colors and visuality. Futacı claimed that sometimes the best soundtrack music is the music that you don’t hear or notice. “The point is to make the sound become one with the feeling. When that happens, you don’t even realize that you’re hearing the music.”

Pivio also said that every director has a different approach to music: “The director is the person who has the thematic idea of the film. You need to be as in touch with him as possible. Apart from that connection with the director, the editor also plays a very important role here.” Lastly, Pivio added that the people who compose soundtrack music need to act according to the film’s needs and to the director’s vision: “In all these years of making soundtrack music, being open-minded so as to not repeat myself has been the best lesson for me.”